1st year set up. How did you get your start? How did you begin?
My first setup was home built melamine racks. Wasn’t the greatest but they worked
Good racks are expensive. Im gonna try to make some soon. Material and tools add up. Probably wont save money. lol
Materials are quiet a bit more expensive now than they were when I built mine. I kept them until I worked my way up to some PVC and ARS racks
My melamine racks were fine. Really good at insulating heat and holding temps. (saving energy and cost) Also they create a good light gradient. Some of them were from when I used to keep snakes a few decades ago, and they are still good. (so are the tubs)
Also you can make the heating as you wish. e.g I chose back heat so snakes dont have to sit on a specific temperature for a third of the floor with heat mats, but have a better thermal gradient with the back heat.
Only drawback is that they are too heavy. So I might build any more from plastic.
Anyway, here are just a couple I made. One is on top of the other now.
15 liter on top x 9.
4 x 25 liter then
2 x 33 liter.
(that’s one rack, I have others.)
Mine swelled after awhile and made the tubs hard to get in and out but mine weren’t as nice as yours lol
This was my first melamine set up, it was heavy, the tubs didn’t slide out right, I just hated it all the way around (I’m no carpenter) since I bought all professional made racks and I’m glad I never tried to make a rack again
Like I said, mine have lasted decades, a tip to avoid warping:-
Seal the internal corners with something like aquarium sealant. If water can not penetrate into the non plastic bits of chipboard (where you have cut it) you will get no warping.
On another note, Melamine chipboard is a lot more expensive now than when I built the old one, at least here in the UK. Although its still cheaper than commercial rack systems.
I don’t have any of my melamine racks anymore I tossed them out when I got my ARS. I’m not sure which one was heavier lol but it served its purpose pretty good. If I would have sealed them like you said they would have probably lasted longer
I hope to toss my old heavy melamine racks out one day too-- when I can afford it.
I still would prefer a system with clear tubs (so I can see in a bit without disturbing them) but with 5 out of 6 sides enclosed for heat and energy conservation and a nice photo gradient like my melamine racks .
I dont know of a system that offers that, maybe I will have to build a plastic equivalent.
But if anyone knows of a system that meets those requirements, let me know.